Dayton churches unite in spirit of Thanksgiving

Churches making up the Dayton Ministerial Alliance gathered Sunday, Nov. 4, for a Community Thanksgiving Service at the Dayton Community Center. Pictured left to right, front row, are Pastor Jeff Day with Kenefick Southern Baptist Church, Pastor Mike Miligan with South Dayton Baptist Church, Pastor R.J. Revils with Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Bill Fabriguez, interim pastor of Grace Community Church, Pastor Ken Davis with Calvary Baptist Church; (back row) Pastor Mike Blackburn with Trinity Baptist Church, Most Reverend Albert W. Harvey with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Pastor Howie Howeth with Journey Fellowship Church, Pastor Guy Williams with First United Methodist Church, Pastor George Ohmstede with First Baptist Church and Pastor Rich Cope with First Assembly of God Church. All of the churches listed are in the Dayton area.

Several churches that make up the Dayton Ministerial Alliance gathered Sunday evening at the Dayton Community Center to celebrate unity, gratitude and a shared reverence for God at the annual Community Thanksgiving Service.

Organized by the ministerial alliance, Rev. George Ohmstede, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dayton, explained the importance of the annual services.

“We come together, not as denominations, but as one body of the Church,” he told the 300 or so people gathered for this year’s event.

A prayer for local, state and national elected officials was offered during the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday at the Dayton Community Center. Representing the city of Dayton were council members Sherial Lawson and John Johnson. Dayton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jessica Johnson and Trustee Larry Wadzeck represented the school district.


With growing participation, the Community Thanksgiving Service was moved to the Dayton Community Center the last three years.

In remarks to the congregation, Rev. Rich Cope with First Assembly of God Church thanked the city for allowing the community center to be used for the services.

“Thank you, Mayor Jeff Lambright, and the City of Dayton. There are not a lot of cities that allow religious gatherings in a city building. We are grateful,” Cope said.

The service also was an opportunity to introduce Pastor Guy Williams to Dayton residents who haven’t made his acquaintance. Williams, who delivered the sermon at the service, moved to Dayton in July with his family when he was named pastor of First United Methodist Church of Dayton.

In addition to taking up an offering for Pregnancy Care Center of Dayton, the service included performances from singers and a children’s choir.

Teenagers were asked to participate in a song during the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Dayton Community Center.
A children’s choir sings “God is on the Move” during the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday at the Dayton Community Center.






By Vanesa Brashier,


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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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